Sam Curran opener: Chennai Super Kings have opened with a fresh opening pair tonight to take everyone by surprise.
During the 29th match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.
Batting for the first time in IPL 2020, Super Kings surprised one and all by sending England all-rounder Sam Curran to open the batting alongside former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.
The development means that former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson will bat at No. 3 followed by the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni himself.
Watson, who had played in the middle-order for his previous IPL franchise in Royal Challengers Bangalore, won’t be opening the batting for Super Kings for the first time ever. In 11 T20Is at No. 3 for Australia, Watson’s 159 runs had come at a substandard average and strike rate of 15.90 and 109.65 respectively.
It is worth mentioning that Chennai have included spinner Piyush Chawla for batsman Narayan Jagadeesan to strengthen their bowling unit at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Sam Curran opener – Has CSK all-rounder opened the batting in T20s in the past?
While sending Curran to open has been probably done to deepen their batting in the absence of a specialist batsman, it is surely a brave and an innovative move for a franchise CSK which rarely prefers to make such changes.
In seven T20s for Chennai this season before the ongoing match, Curran had scored 68 runs at a strike rate of 219.35. Curran, who is playing his 77th T20 overall, has opened only once in the past.
Irrespective of how Sam Curran go , nice call #CSKvsSRH
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) October 13, 2020
The only instant of the southpaw coming out to face the new ball before was during his maiden IPL season for Kings XI Punjab last year.
Opening the batting with wicket-keeper batsman Lokesh Rahul after being put in to bat by Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer, Curran had scored 20 (10) with the help of three fours and a six before opposition spinner Sandeep Lamichhane found him wanting in front of the stumps.